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October 13, 2016

By: Grant Pound

New Tech Tool for Yak Owners & Breeders

Originally published in iYak E-Newsletter, Summer 2015

A few of months ago I received an email from Yakzz.com. Since I didn’t know them, the email showed up in my Spam. I was suspicious, as I usually am of things on the internet, but decided to check them out because there just aren’t that many things out there that have “Yak” in the title.

The first thing I did was to see who was associated with this software as I wanted to see if they were legit. There were some names I recognized so I called them to see what this was about. I found that Yakzz.com is a database driven website that was developed by people who had done the same thing in the alpaca industry.

Here is the company’s description of services that they provide: Yakzz.com is a new online marketing website for yak ranchers. You can upload your yak for sale and build appealing, detailed sales lists, blog, discuss industry topics in the forum, list yak events, etc. You can join for free and list up to 5 animals! Paid memberships include unlimited animals and a complete personal farm website (separate from Yakzz), website hosting, and email accounts, with all of your Yakzz sales lists and other pages automatically synced to your website.

Formerly your choices for selling yaks were word of mouth, and email through IYAK, Craigslist, or maybe a local ad. Any of these can work, but all of these are one-shot deals. Craigslist is up for a day and then your listing slides down and off the page, newspaper ads are in for whatever period you pay for them and an IYAK email is soon forgotten. On Yakzz.com your animals for sale are listed and available whenever anyone wants to look at them much like they would be on your own website.

I have several animals for sale, so I thought I would try the service. It took a while to enter in all the animals and write up something for my ranch page. Once they were up it was easy to see what I had for sale, cost, pedigree, and descriptions. I loaded one or two photos as well. Most of it is the same information you would submit to IYAK to register an animal.

The site is pretty new and so I’m not sure how many people are visiting it, but I did get a couple contacts from the listing and sold one calf so far. It probably paid for itself right there. You can also list four animals for free, but I found that was limiting. What I have been doing is posting on Facebook that I have animals for sale and that they can visit the Yakzz.com site for details. I plan to post Craigslist ads the same way. That way I only have to change information in one place when animals are sold or prices change.

In the beginning I was getting a weekly summary of activity on my pages, but that has stopped for some reason. I talked to the owner and he said they are working on that to be more yak oriented. I also suggested some improvements and he was happy to hear the ideas and some of them might be incorporated as they develop the software.

As more people use the site competition will grow and I am listing my animals along with other breeders. That makes it a little harder to make sure someone goes to my site, but it also means people looking at a competitors site might move on to my pages. This doesn’t eliminate marketing effort, but it does seem to be a good tool.

IYAK is not endorsing this site just as they do not indorse any product or service. You should check it out for yourself and see if it something you could use.

Grant Pound is the executive director and co-founder of Colorado Art Ranch, COO of Lawless Research and a yak rancher. Grant earned a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from University of Michigan and studied design at the School of Art and Architecture at the University of Idaho. He has utilized both backgrounds in his professional practice of graphic design since 1986. Grant lives with his wife Peggy Lawless in Livermore, CO.